Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Blended Workplace

Standardized tests are not the only thing in education that is outdated and wasteful.  The other thing is having central and district offices.  Sure they were necessary last century, but this century??? 
Unnecessary!
Back in the 90s when I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers we got rid of an entire building in Manhattan and moved to something called "hoteling." You worked from where you were and if you had to come in for a meeting or something you checked in that day (like you would in a hotel) and got an office or conference room. This saved the company MILLIONS. 
Seth Godin addressed this in his article, "Goodbye to the Office" and when you think about it, this would not only be a great way to save money for the business office, but also for school districts.  Imagine what the savings could go toward for our students!
Will school systems ever catch up?
I don't know.

I've spoken with folks who run online schools who are worried about buildings for their teachers.
What?
Forget the building the classes are online! Give em a laptop and a wireless port (or money toward internet) and you don't need to waste that money on an office! I bet you could even tack on an extra half hour to the work day in saved commuting time.  
Seth poses these questions:
Why go to work in an office/plant/factory?
  1. That's where the machines are.
  2. That's where the items I need to work on are.
  3. The boss needs to keep tabs on my productivity.
  4. There are important meetings to go to.
  5. It's a source of energy.
  6. The people I collaborate with all day are there.
  7. I need someplace to go.
But...
  1. If you have a laptop, you probably have the machine already, in your house.
  2. If you do work with a keyboard and a mouse, the items you need to work on are on your laptop, not in the office.
  3. The boss can easily keep tabs on productivity digitally.
  4. How many meetings are important? If you didn't go, what would happen?
  5. You can get energy from people other than those in the same company.
  6. Of the 100 people in your office, how many do you collaborate with daily?
  7. So go someplace. But it doesn't have to be to your office.
School systems can do this now and save money that could go toward student resources,  lowering class sizes, and so much more.  

Are they too stuck in their old ways or do you think there are some that'd give this a whirl?
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